MIDO Commander Icone
When I first got to know the MIDO brand, even before it was officially marketed in Italy, I started off with the Commander. It is one of the collections that made the history of this company and it has preserved a beautiful three-hand-timepiece with a neat and clean dial, a flat glass box in the middle and a Milanese mesh that tapers towards the clasp. I had been particularly impressed by the historic logo with its typical font from the past, in Italics and applied to the dial. We are talking about something from the end of the 50s with the typical essential geometrical design from that time that hasn’t changed since then. To better put things into perspective, my reference is the M8429.4.C1.11 that, still today, is still available in the brand’s catalogue and that features a hesalite glass as it used to sport back in the days.
Progress and development can’t stop though and MIDO built on this very same base, two new versions that mix together the main principle of the Commander with all the newly-developed technologies at disposal of the Group with the addition of some mandatory solutions that are needed if you aim at a design inspired by the past that can also sport all the most up-to-date technical features. Beside the classic MIDO Commander, MIDO also created its MIDO Commander Icone; the re-edition of the re-edition (if you excuse my pun) with the addition of all of the content MIDO is famous for (last generation automatic calibres, performances suitable for the daily tasks of the 21st century and an aesthetic language in line with next year’s MIDO). These are two versions of a model that seems to be linking together this collection and the All Dial collection.
When I am talking about content, I am referring to the following parts; a flat and convex sapphire glass in the middle (anti-reflective of course) that is sharply curved on the sides, an extremely neat dial that leaves out those square applied indices that characterized our parents' time reading on a case that has now increased in diameter to reach 42mm and sporting the modern MIDO logo at 12 o’clock. It is a hymn to readability and to the dial’s neatness; two mantras of the Swiss brand and part of its glory too, since MIDO watches are easily recognizable for their extreme formal neatness, although, I would have left in, at least, the historic logo, since this is one of the brand’s Heritage lines. The Milanese mesh that many manufacturers craft with a constant largeness in size has been integrated into the case and it tapers towards the click clasp with a safety pin and imprinted MIDO logo.
When it comes to the performances of the MIDO Commander Icone, we can definitely say that these are one of the brand’s strongest selling points; the manufacturer’s collection of calibres and a movement that has become best in class among automatic calibres following ETA’s decision to stop producing for other brands, while focussing on the development of movements exclusively for the brands of the group. The MIDO 80 Si calibre has been awarded the COSC certification (a standard certification that has been made obsolete by the arrival of the Metas, but that is nevertheless still important if you consider this watch’s positioning), it features a silicon balance spring, an ELINFLEX winding coil and many more small features on the kinematic chain that guarantee up to 80 hours of power reserve. This is quite an exceptional result if you consider that this starting base was once available to everyone and that the manufacturer went above and beyond expectations. One of the least visible aspects on which a brand should invest time and resources is the improvement of a watch’s specifics; this is a topic that many manufacturers have largely ignored in the past, as they have rather focussed on their brand’s pure image instead.
The MIDO Commander was released in two dial versions; one anthracite version with a soleil finishing and one white version (my favourite one, as it remained faithful to the roots of this collection). Personally, I would have left in the applied historic logo, possibly by re-stylizing it for the occasion and thus leaving intact the vintage flavour of the Commander. Both versions retail at 1,120 euro; still quite a strong reference retail price if you consider the significance of this product and the objective value of its features. If we have reached this evaluation already, it is quite clear that those who have chosen its design have realized already that, exactly like the original model, it won’t go out of fashion in the next 50 years.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®